Wichita Falls Times Record News
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Schools to use bike program
Curriculum to get kids moving, emphasizes ‘exercise for a purpose’
By Michael Hines
Several cities are set to introduce the curriculum aimed at fourth- and fifth-graders, including Burkburnett and Vernon. The curriculum was set up by the Bike Texas Safe Routes to School program.
It looks at improving kids’ knowledge of bike safety as well as motivating them. Programs such as a bike rodeo look to educate youths, and parents are also encouraged to keep their driving habits in mind in making neighborhoods safe for biking, said Anne-Marie Williamson, nursing assistant professor at Midwestern State University and local outreach coordinator for the Texas Bicycle Coalition.
“We want our city to be safe if we want our kids to walk or bike to school,” Williamson said.
Lisa Groesz, evaluation director, was in charge of the measurements and surveys. In addition to using the information for the cycling group, she’s also hoping the data go toward her dissertation.
“My passion is utilitarian exercise,” she said. “Exercise for a purpose.”
There’s certainly a clear purpose with the curriculum effort: getting kids on two wheels.
According to the Texas Bicycle Coalition, 74 percent of Texas children don’t meet state guidelines for physical education and 35 percent are overweight or obese. Just 13 percent of Texas school children walk or bike to school in 2005 compared to 66 percent in 1975.
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